The bank accounts and business identification numbers of Ayesha Traders and Taj Traders were frozen as a part of an investigation of fraud against them by the VAT Intelligence.
The traders imported banned poppy seeds in the name of importing tennis balls and party sprays in four containers that were seized at Mongla port.
The VAT Audit, Intelligence and Investigation Directorate had uncovered a lot of information regarding fraudulent activities related to 15 consignments that were previously unloaded by these traders.
The VAT detectives are currently investigating whether the traders actually imported the goods they declared and paid proper taxes for.
During the investigation, the VAT detectives found major discrepancies among the papers collected from Begum Bazar Branch of Pubali Bank, nominated by the importers, and the traders' information regarding imported goods.
The investigators could not find any establishment belonging to these traders in the Chawk Bazar area in Dhaka that match the information in their VAT registration.
According to their VAT registrations and trade licences, Taj Traders's office is located at 10/B Swarighat, Dhaka, and Ayesha Traders's office is at 6/10-D, Champatali, Chawk Bazar, Dhaka.
The investigators also found that those traders have not paid VAT returns properly. Instead, they provided false information to the local VAT offices, which makes their VAT returns questionable.
So, the VAT detectives think that these importers were involved in importing banned goods in the past too.
As a part of the investigation by the VAT intelligence, the importers' bank accounts and BINs were frozen on Saturday..
The VAT detectives thought that the importers could have their money transferred from the accounts before the investigation is finished. They could also promptly unload some of their other consignments which are waiting at the port.
All the accounts connected to these traders were frozen through notices issued by the Pubali Bank's Begum Bazar branch, and the Bangladesh Bank.
At the same time, their BINs were locked by the National Board of Revenue.
According to the bank's information, Taj Traders belong to Md Sabir Hossain, and Ayesha Traders is owned by Akbar Hossain.
The investigators found that although their BINs are different, the nature of irregularities in their businesses is same.
The VAT detectives are also investigating whether the importers evaded large amount of taxes and laundered money by importing some other product in the name of importing tennis balls.
The VAT intelligence will take action against these two traders after completing the investigation.